Ocean Acidification_F10_Lect12

Ocean Acidification_F10_Lect12 - Ocean Acidification The...

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Ocean Acidification: The Other Carbon Problem Fall 2010, Lecture 12 1
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Carbonic Acid Carbon dioxide combines with water in the atmosphere to form carbonic acid o CO 2 + H 2 O → H 2 CO 3 It can also dissolve in ocean water directly from the atmosphere Carbonic acid is present in all carbonated beverages – cola, beer, champagne… It is a weak acid, but is produced in enormous quantities Rainwater is naturally acidic because it contains some carbonic acid 2
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Acidity Scale Natural rainwater has a pH of around 5.5-5.6, but this varies from place to place pH is defined as: o pH = - log [H + ] , where [H + ] is the hydrogen ion concentration 3 pH.swf Acid is usually measured on a scale called the pH scale, which ranges from 0 (highly acidic) to 7 (neutral) to 14 (highly alkaline), as the figure shows
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Addition of Carbonic Acid to the Ocean The increase in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere also means that more carbonic acid is added to the ocean Carbonic acid is more soluble in cold water than warm, so more carbon dioxide is added to polar oceans That is gradually reducing the pH of the ocean, with several unfavorable consequences 4
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CO 2 Enters the Ocean Part 1: Half of the CO 2 introduced into the atmosphere since the start of the Industrial Revolution has been absorbed by the ocean Part 2: It combines to form carbonic acid 5
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Carbonate Reduction Part 3: Carbonic acid raises the hydrogen ion concentration and reduces the carbonate ion (CO 3 2- ) Organisms need carbonate ion to form shell material, so this hinders that activity 6 pH values have been reduced by more than 0.1 pH units since the start of the industrial revolution By the end of the 21 st century, it is estimated pH will fall another 0.3-0.4 units
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Continuing Damage Carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere will ensure that this problem will continue to grow worse for at least a century and probably longer As more carbon dioxide is added to the atmosphere, the effects will increase 7
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Effects on Life As waters become more acidic, organisms like
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This note was uploaded on 05/04/2011 for the course ESC 3704 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at FAU.

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Ocean Acidification_F10_Lect12 - Ocean Acidification The...

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